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Thruway Authority faces massive funding gap: How will $1.2 billion be made up?

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  • Staff Report 

The New York State Thruway is facing a financial crisis, with a $1.2 billion funding gap projected through 2031, as per a recent report by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit.

Despite an increase in annual trips and revenues from tolls and rest-stop sales, the report states that rising costs of highway and bridge improvements and increased reliance on borrowing will lead to a 171% increase in annual debt service. The current condition of the Thruway’s highways and bridges is anticipated to deteriorate over the next decade, based on the existing funding.

In response to the financial challenges, the Thruway Authority is considering raising tolls. If approved, the cost of traveling the Thruway from Exit 44 (Canandaigua) to Exit 47 (LeRoy) would increase from $1.40 to $1.48 in 2024 and $1.54 in 2027. A virtual public hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 5 from 4-7 p.m.

The Thruway Authority emphasized the importance of increasing revenue, stating that the average age of the Thruway’s 815 bridges is 55 years old. More than 85 bridges will need replacement within the next decade at a projected cost of $800 million, with hundreds more requiring attention in the following decade. The Thruway’s roadway base, dating back to the 1950s, also demands constant maintenance. The longer necessary work is delayed, the more expensive it will become.

Categories: New York StateNews